Dear WCRA Athletes,
May was a busy month! We had two major events, Rodeo Corpus Christi and Women’s Rodeo World Championship, and paid out a total of $1.3 million in two weeks. We began the competition at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds with the qualifying rounds, and we saw some great competition including our DY athletes. 21 youth athletes qualified for the progressive round and earned $38,250 against the open competitors. There is a very bright future for these young rodeo athletes and they certainly proved it.
Moving into American Bank Center, the progressive round spanned over 3 days and advanced a solid field for the Championship Saturday where we watched some intense performances, including a clutch win from Isaac Diaz who checked the box on his second consecutive Triple Crown win! If he can win the event championship at Rodeo Carolina, he will be our second Million Dollar winner. Fun fact; Diaz has already won 3 WCRA majors counting his 2019 Windy City Roundup win.
Rodeo Corpus Christi aired all performances live on both Ridepass on Pluto and the Cowboy Channel with the Triple Crown round airing on CBS network which yielded nearly 600,000 viewers! This is great news for promoting the sport of rodeo.
The following week we held the Women’s Rodeo World Championship in Fort Worth. The WRWC was paired with the Cowgirl Gathering which made an entire week of women’s events paying out a total of $1.145 million. This partnership is expected to grow and continue to add more opportunities to females in rodeo.
The WRWC began with a last-chance qualifier which was new this year to give those short of the top 20 a chance to qualify. Congrats to Kelsie Domer who quailed through the Last Chance Qualifier and moved on to capture an event win of over $60,000. We expect these qualifiers to grow in the future.
The World Champion races were fun to watch, congratulations to all the Pro and Challenger World Champions who earned a beautiful Jessie Jaymes gold and silver buckle and a $5,000 bonus for having the most cumulative points for the year. I’d like to congratulate Martha Angelone for capturing the Pro Breakaway and the All-Around World Championships and winning a total of $89,400 in total money earned, and to Laura Mote, congratulations on breaking the arena record with the lightning-fast 12.967 run and bringing home her first World Championship.
Now we direct our attention to the Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR). The WCJR will be held in Guthrie, Oklahoma, July 25-29 The top 16 Junior and Youth athletes in each discipline will qualify with no entry fees and be seeded directly into the Semi-Finals round of competition. New this year, there will be two age divisions (Junior & Youth). And the WCRA DY All Around and Discipline World Championships will include cash bonuses and awards for both age divisions.
Additionally, the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring NC will play host to the DY Showcase event for the 2024 season with the top 8 athletes in the Junior leaderboard from each discipline being eligible to compete for $55,000 and bonus World Championship points during WCRA Rodeo Carolina.
To put it simply, every category of rodeo athlete has opportunities to qualify, compete, win, and earn huge bonuses including the Reliance Ranches VRQ bonus (click HERE for more info), which is awarded to the top four places in each discipline who earn the most points in their discipline for the year. $405,000 paid out this year in this program with first place in each discipline earning $20,000. This incentive makes earning more points profitable.
Rodeo Carolina will finally take The Triple Crown of to the East Coast. This facility has long been a resort destination for the equestrian industry and is surrounded by exciting family entertainment activities and is one of the most picturesque equestrian facilities in the country, being located within the Blue Ridge Foothills.
For our open competitors, all eyes are on Rodeo Carolina, which is the final WCRA event for 2023. The October 5-8 will include an updated format which we’ve developed based on feedback we have received from athletes at past events. The timed event Qualifying Rounds will also be IPRA co-approved. The details of this format can be found HERE.
This new format will give qualifiers two complete paid rounds with an aggregate payout, all before qualifying for the lucrative Showdown and Triple Crown of Rodeo Round. Focusing more on quality stock and competitive opportunities. We believe that if you are going to qualify for a WCRA Major event, your ability should be the only thing that determines how you do.
The first major of 2024 will be held in Guthrie, Ok, at the Lazy E Arena on January 4-7.
It will include a similar format to Rodeo Carolina as well as a DY Showcase.
Many might think that the WCRA is designed for the pros, and the truth is our mission is much greater. The WCRA is geared towards the rising stars of the sport and the underdogs who don’t always have the opportunities to compete on a big stage. We couldn’t be more proud of what those athletes have accomplished. We are lucky to have athletes of all skill levels and walks of life at our events; that’s what makes the WCRA system so great. We love watching the challengers back into the same box as the pros. When we say, “WCRA is all for rodeo” we mean it. We’re all for the up and comers, all for women and all for making the sport stonger and more accessible for all to enjoy. As always, if you have questions, feedback, or need help please reach out to us at: 833-213-9272 or call me direct at: 541-520-2806.
WCRA President Bobby Mote